When is a union not a union: when it’s the UK.

One of the constant themes from British nationalists is the assertion that the UK is the most successful and/or the strongest union in history. Yet they never quantify what they mean by success or strength, they give us no guidelines as to how success or strength are being measured.

There are however any number of possible quantifiers which could be used. Are we measuring by the highest number of foodbanks which are guarded by nuclear missiles? Is it perhaps by the largest number of billionaires who don’t pay their fair share of tax but expect bailouts from the government? If it’s counted by the number of Scottish Conservative politicians who make sectarian dog whistles about fitba teams on social media, the UK is surely a world beater. Or maybe it’s measured by the number of citizens in a developed state who die before their time due to government neglect, carelessness, or its malign intent in slashing social security. Or perhaps it’s measured by the number of shiny badges given to care workers instead of personal protection equipment. It may be enumerated by the notices in the online stores of companies manufacturing that PPE announcing that they’re only selling their vital equipment to England during this crisis. So many options. So many choices.

The latest to indulge in British nationalist puffery is Aberdeenshire Tory MP Andrew Bowie, who sadly didn’t get his jotters in December last year. Andrew describes himself as a “devolution sceptic”, by which he means that he thinks that it’s better to abolish any political identity for Scotland and restrict Scottishness to safe things. That would be things like North British shortbread. Or tartan borders on Visit Britain tourism posters which unaccountably fail to depict a single work of literature from Scotland while co-opting Scottish writers for London. Scottishness in Andrew’s world should exist only insofar as it serves to disguise the English nationalism of the British state and to allow British nationalists like Andrew to fondly imagine that they’re better than Scottish nationalists because their nationalism isn’t nationalist at all.

Andrew wrote a Facebook post in which he used the coronavirus epidemic to praise the strength of the union. Together we have supported one another, he wrote. Except if you’re a Scottish care home wanting to buy PPE online from a company that’s only going to sell to England. Except if you’re an essential worker who wants a test for the virus but you have to wait because Charles Windsor and the family members of cabinet ministers go to the top of the queue. Except if you’re on a zero hours contract and you don’t know how you’re going to pay your rent or keep food on table while billionaires like Richard Branson demand millions of pounds in handouts from the government. Except if you’re stuck in a top floor flat with three kids while you’re lectured by middle class people with gardens about keeping out of parks. But apart from that … suuuuure. The union is as strong as the rocks on which these islands are built, Andrew gushed. Which would be nice, if it were not for the fact that those rocks are being fracked by companies which give money to the Conservative party.

It would be even nicer if this union that he speaks of actually, you know, existed. Three nations and the north eastern bit of Ireland do not a union make when the politics and government of that “union” are decided by the votes of those in the largest part of it, which is able to outvote all the other bits together several times over. The UK is not a union in the same way that a large stale cake with a tiny tired cherry on top of it is not a fruit salad.

Meanwhile other apologists for the UK make their own pathetic bids for relevance. Inspired by the tin eared entitlement of the celebrity imagine video, Ben Fogle made his own bid for the prize for failure to read the room. Ben, who loves Scotland and wants us to remain a part of the UK because he thinks he’s a mountain in Easter Ross, has tweeted that we should all open our windows at 9am on Tuesday morning to sing happy birthday to Elizabeth Windsor. Incidentally, if Ben Fogle was in fact a mountain in Scotland, its Gaelic name would be Beinn Foghail, which means the mountain of blustering. This is as good a metaphor for the UK as you’re going to get.

Anyway, back to Liz. I’m not sure if Tuesday is her actual birthday, or her official birthday. She has two birthdays, that’s how entitled she is. Ben’s suggestion was as well received on social media as Matt Hancock’s shiny badge at the funeral of a care home worker. For one thing, not having to get out of your bed of a morning is the only upside to this disaster for most of us, and we’re not about to give it up to indulge in an act of sycophancy for an extremely wealthy woman whose family break the rules and put other people at risk, and who won’t put her hand into her extremely deep pockets to help out those less fortunate than herself. So you can bugger off with that, Ben. I’d rather howl at the moon while my eyes were on fire. Which I am told is one of the tracks off a Blue Oyster Cult album from the late 1970s – which is coincidentally the decade when unthinking sychophancy for all things royal went out of fashion. Only no one told Ben. He’s still pitching to be lead singer in the Red White and Blue Cult.

Ben’s suggestion for increasing the joy of the nations was matched in its cluelessness only by the announcement from Beatrice Windsor, the daughter of the one who was pally with paedophiles, that she’s going to postpone her wedding until next year when she’ll be able to have a bigger celebration which will, and I quote, “lift the nation’s spirits”. The only way that her family could lift the nation’s spirits would be if her father went to the USA to be interviewed under caution by the FBI.

If this really was a union it would have some constitutional mechanisms in place to protect Scotland and the other smaller nations of the UK from the malign effects of English nationalism. But it doesn’t. And the likes of Andrew Bowie MP want to remove those few safeguards and protections that the devolution that Scotland campaigned long and hard for gives us. This isn’t a successful union, far less is it the most successful in the world. It’s not the most successful union because it’s a union in name only. You can call a pile of dog crap on your lawn a garden feature if you want, but it’s still a pile of dog crap.

And finally, because we could all do with some cheering up during these difficult times…

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32 thoughts on “When is a union not a union: when it’s the UK.

  1. Well, at least it’s clear. Tories like Bowie were never reconciled to devolution in any shape or form. No big surprise there, since they rely on Big Brother in London to have any influence in Scotland. So much for their supposed belief in “standing on your own feet” and “taking responsibility for your own actions”.

    Their craven dependence culture and extreme reluctance to follow their own basic principles are the surest signs of a complete failure of self-confidence. And Carlaw claims they are ready to take over in Edinburgh after the crisis has passed?…!

  2. Pingback: When is a union not a union: when it’s the UK. | speymouth

    • That is absolute dynamite Petra.
      It makes for very sobering reading and shows without doubt that this is by a long way the most inept government on the planet.

    • I knew the Tory govt had fucked up but this lays it out for all to see. Heads must roll. Thanks Petra, I have now shared with friends & family.

  3. When is a union not a union? – when you labour night and day to assert that one member of it has contributed nothing of value and lives off the generosity of its neighbor.

    The truth is that England gets the subsidy. Scotland gets to pay the bills. And all Scotland got out of it was a wee union jack badge.

  4. Mr Bowie should have a really good think about such statements. Given that a lot of people out there aren’t best pleased with Mr Johnson’s government and their response to this crisis,

    Mind you, thinking about the sensibilities or life chances of others isn’t normally top of a Tory to do list. Sooooo…. a case of same s**t different day.

  5. A second dictionary entry for ‘foghail’ reads “Hostile incursion. 2 Plunder, spoil, robbery. 3 Offence, offensiveness”. You just couldn’t make it up …

  6. Keep at it. Some of us are totally lost for words. The ban on PPE for Scotland. No counting of dead nurses and doctors. No counting outside hospitals. The Badge. Today, The Birthday Clap. Insanity.

  7. Now, now Paul you don’t want to upset Mark Smith over at the herald now. I imagine he will view this as another anti-uk jibe from a sep.

    When you think the herald can’t sink any lower they publish that trash.

      • He is a ‘Bring Back Hanging’ and ‘Castrate Sex Offenders’, hack, Paul, of the ‘Freddy Starr Ate My Hamster’ school of hackery.

        Surely a full page headline: The SNP are Sh1te’, cannot be far off?

        In my time when I took the Herald 9over 4 decades) this lad wouldn’t have been employed down in the despatch bay lugging bundles of the paper on to distribution vans.

        Cut and Pastry of Richard Leonard GMB press releases and Ranjurs and Sellick exclusives now.
        I observe elsewhere, how are the Dead Tree Scrolls staying afloat?

    • Ian,
      we are the start of the new financial year.
      Nobody is venturing out to buy the Herald. A quick glance at their sad little On Line version clearly shows that they are down to the bones.
      They have no Revenue but still finding money to pay the wages fuel and rates.

      They were on life support before the Plague.
      Where are they getting the money to limp along, likewise the other Jock Dead Tree Scrolls?

      Who is paying for 400 Fitba Hacks now that there’s nae fitba’ to write about?

      I doubt that Steven Gerrard or Gary McAllister are even in Scotland at the moment.
      They’ll have self isolated back in their English mansions.
      As I observed before, I cannot wait to read Keith Jackson’s ‘History of the Corner Flag’, Parts I II and III.
      While other firms’, companies’, and individuals’ incomes and jobs are at stake, the Dead Tree Scrolls and the broadcasters chunter merrily along, churning out the usual Establishment guff.

      Who is bankrolling the Brit Nat Propaganda Wing of their Mighty Union?

      • Speaking of fitba …

        It was reported recently that a Law of the Scottish Parliament from 1424 detailing fitba for the first time had been discovered. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Football_Act_1424

        I decided to present what I thought was in said Statute …


        YE FITBA ACT, 1424


        (1) Ther shall be known as a game yclept ‘fitba’.

        (2) That ye game of fitba shal involve twa teams o’ eleven (XI) men each.

        Ye Auld Firm

        (3) That in ye first instance ye teams shal be yclept Rangers and ye Celtic (Henceforth, yclept ‘Ye Auld Firm’).

        (4) That ‘Ye Auld Firm’ supporters will aften (although not exclusively) contain sectarian bigots who have less interest in ye fitba than fighting each other.

        Ye National Fitba Team

        (5) That ther shal also be ye national team of fitba yclept ‘Scotland’ (Henceforth, also yclept ‘Yon Loosers’).

        (6) Yon Loosers shall endeavour at all times –

        a) to lose as many fitba matches as possible

        b) to seize defeat from ye jaws of victory as often as possible

        c) to never qualify for ye World Cup nor ye European Championships o’ fitba UNLESS –

        i) it be aided to do so, by yon hand of Joe Jordan or
        ii) it does so qualify, on ye solemn and sincere undertaking no’ tae proceed further than ye first round matches

        (7) Yon Loosers shall be supported a’ aw times by ye Tartan Army, who will support said team through thin an’ thinner.

        [SEAL] Ye seal of ye King of Scotland, dated this 1st day of April 1424

        [SEALION] Ye sealion of ye First Minister of Scotland, dated this 1st day of April 1424

  8. The Tories are mucking up again. Just as expected. They could not make a bigger mess. For others to clear up. One year later chaos. Years of funding cuts to essential services.

    Thank goodness for Devolution less people are dying in Scotland because of increased funding of NHS/essential services. £12.5Billion. Up £1/2 Billion a year. Year on year. Cut in the rest of the UK by Westminster imbeciles.

    The curfew of ‘reporting’ of Tory cuts to funding of NHS/social care and essential services. The MSM blockade of relevant facts and figures. The Tories will reap the backlash. The poison chalice coming back to haunt.

  9. It is in fact mair like a hostile takeover than a union.

    They think they hold all the cards, let’s work on that, collectively.

  10. Day 60

    Official Committee predicts 500,000 death in a population of 70Million. A year norm death total in the UK.

    Unelected Cummings not concerned if pensioners die. As long as it is not him. Change of theory if they get infected.

    Johnston declares we are very, very well prepared?

    Get infected. End up in care. Disappears for posterity leaves others to try and clear up the Tory mess. They created by lack of proper funding. Carefully neglected.

  11. Odd word successful, it can mean all kinds of different things to different people like, a tapeworm could be considered successful, the Flu, and now we have Covid 19, each successful in their way
    The Union? from the parasite or virus point of view yes, successful

    Of course we can remove and treat for tapeworm now and we have a vaccine for Flu, we’ll get round to Covid 19 as well so no reason to think we can’t remove the Union virus also, we have the remedy, all we need to do is take it

  12. Newsquest funds come from commercial printing. They print literature for commerce (UK Gov contracts?), private schooling administration, worldwide.

    The ‘news’ aspect is a side line. Using the printing presses. They derive income from ads online, intrusive scrolling, Too much discourages readers/viewers.

    The websites can benefit them by drawing in readership. Some do not just access the articles. Some access to view comments. The more comments articles draw in puts up traffic numbers. An advantage to drawing monies from advertising by quoting traffic numbers. Ie readership or viewers.

    An article drawing most comments can be viewed as successful in drawing in ad revenues. Troll fodder. Sometimes deliberately controversial. More outrageous headlined articles are viewed as drawing in more comments. More revenue basis.

    The Herald. Website. Groundhog day. Every day. To try and draw in advertising revenues. Not particular about relevant ‘news’ at all. Or conscientious ‘reporting’.

    The MSM websites do tend to delete ban Independence supporters making relevant comments. Biased for commercial reasons.

  13. From First Minister Drakeford:

    “I along with the first ministers of Scotland and Northern Ireland attended the UK government’s Cobra meeting. We each confirmed our decisions that the current restrictions on movement to protect the NHS and so to save lives should continue for another three weeks.

    I know that the last three weeks have been very difficult for many people. I want to thank everyone in Wales for the way each of us is dealing with these challenging circumstances.

    While we have seen some positive signs in the data, it is still too early to change course in dealing with this deadly virus. Many more lives are at stake, and too many families have already lost loved ones.”

  14. The enforced union as far I can see in history books.
    The great empire bludgeoned, blasted, shot, starved and tortured its way around the world, taken over many countries with war, in which it still participating directly or indirectly,
    I like many others enjoy doing research myself looking for as much information as possible covering as wide a scope as possible so as not to have a one sided or narrow view point,
    It may be OT for the above piece that Paul wrote so well, and I agree with.
    hopefully I will be forgiven as I only just came across this piece of research by a lady on YouTube called Amazing Polly. The subject is vaccines and coronaviras, it covers America and uk media, the first title I watched was.
    The 7-step recipe for creating vaccine demand.
    But there was a previous one she had put up also covering the subject called Boom Info on Mauve Kennedy, Birx, Gates Corrected
    Very interesting to see the connections she made in her research.
    The second one shows info on a channel four item I think it is worth watching both all the way through.

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